Human-rights activists are demanding the release of Nagla Wafa, an Egyptian wedding planner and designer sentenced to 500 lashes and five years in prison in Saudi Arabia following a business dispute with a princess.
Wafa ran afoul of a royal in the Saudi kingdom over the finances of a joint business venture, according to her family. She was reportedly accused of cashing a check from the princess but not following through on their deal to start a restaurant.
“As of May of 2012, Ms. Wafa has been subjected, on a weekly basis, to 50 floggings per week within the ‘Al-Malz’ Prison. She currently faces 200 more floggings … despite her suffering from distortions to her spine,” the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights said in an online statement.
Accusing Saudi Arabian authorities of unlawfully detaining the 39-year-old mother of teenage twins, the organization said the case was a “blatant violation” of human rights and filed a complaint with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Nashwa Ismael, Wafa’s mother, who lives in Cairo, said her daughter wasn’t accused of fraud charges until about 20 months after she was arrested in 2009. Ismael said the family wasn’t able to find a Saudi Arabian lawyer to take Wafa’s case until June, when they first went public with the issue.